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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jul 30, 2012 - 4:16 pm

Receiver depth standing out for Cardinals

LaRon Byrd goes up for a catch during the Red and White scrimmage Saturday, July 28. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

The Cardinals entered their 2012 training camp with 12 wide receivers, and based on last year's depth chart that number will shrink down to seven when cuts must be made for the 53-man roster.

While proven players Larry Fitzgerald, Early Doucet and Andre Roberts are expected to remain on the team and first-round pick Michael Floyd can be assumed safe from getting cut, head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a decision to make about the talent at wideout.

After a week of practice and Saturday's Red and White scrimmage, some players are standing out.

"DeMarco [Sampson] has shown some flashes," said Whisenhunt on Monday. "Stephen Williams has done some things for us in camp, LaRon Byrd looks good as a young player, and Isaiah [Williams] has looked good. Big guys that can run."

This is all during structured practices, mind you. But with Sunday's Hall of Fame preseason game against New Orleans on the horizon, Whisenhunt will have a better understanding of how these players can fit the mold of his football team.

"They're going to get their time in preseason games. Hopefully we'll be able to throw the football a little bit and get an opportunity to see these guys play."

Of the above receivers, only Sampson and Stephen Williams have NFL-game experience, playing in 12 and 11 career games, respectively. However, both were non-factors in the Cardinals' game plan, as Sampson caught three balls for 36 yards last year and Williams totaled nine catches for 101 yards in the 2010 season.

Isaiah Williams has spent the past three seasons circulating through NFL teams, including Baltimore, Pittsburg and Seattle. He was signed to Arizona's practice squad in 2010 and caught a game-winning touchdown in the Cardinals' 2011 preseason opener against Oakland.

Byrd signed with the Cardinals on April 30th after not being selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent four years at the University of Miami accumulating 106 receptions, 1,254 yards and seven touchdowns.

While all have size and speed they can bring to the table, Whisenhunt understands the reality of subtracting athletes from his team.

"We've got some talented players there; you're going to have decisions when it comes down to the final cut."

Arizona Sports' Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report


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